"This study shows that many Americans have had direct experience using prescription pain relievers and a sizable share have misused or abused these medications themselves or have close friends or family members who have done so," says study leader Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School. "The seriousness of the issue has become salient with the American public."The findings indicate that the American public may be in a unique position to pass bills that could combat the opioid epidemic, according to the article. The public could support:
- Better medical training for safely controlling pain and treating addiction.
- Curbing “doctor shopping” (seeing multiple doctors for the same drugs).
- Requiring pharmacists to check identification.
"We think this is the perfect time to work on passing policies that can truly impact the crisis of prescription pain reliever abuse," says study co-author Emma E. "Beth" McGinty, PhD, MS, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School. "The issue has not yet been highly politicized like some public health issues such as the Affordable Care Act, gun violence or needle exchanges, so we may have an opportunity to stem this epidemic."The findings were published in the journal Addiction. ___________________________________________________________________________ If you are or a loved one is abusing opioids, please contact Pace Recovery Center.